Our 13 Best Leek Recipes

updated Mar 8, 2021
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Any time I cook with leeks (which is not often enough), I always I ask myself why I don’t keep them on hand more often. A member of the allium family, and cousin to onions, shallots, garlic, and chives, leeks have a mild, sweet, sometimes grassy aroma and tons of versatility.

Unlike onions, which grow in a bulb, leeks grow into a stalk made of tightly packed layers. The outer layers turn tough, green, and leaf-like, while the inner layers remain tender and white. We generally only eat the lower white and light green parts of the leeks, but don’t be quick to toss the dark green part. When buying leeks, look for ones with the most white and light green, to maximize the portion you can use. While those dark green leaves are too tough to eat, they’re quite flavorful and made a good addition to stocks. So I like to stash them in the scrap bag I keep in the freezer.

If you’ve ever wonder what to make with leeks, know that they can be used in so many ways. They’re a natural fit in soups, pasta, eggs, and rice, not mention on their own. Leeks can also replace or be used alongside onions or shallots in almost any dish. While other members of the allium family can be eaten raw, leeks must be cooked for two reasons: to bring out their subtle flavors and break down their fibrous texture. Cooked at a low heat, leeks slowly break down into a succulent base. Here are our 13 best leek recipes to try.

1 / 13
Vibrant Spring Minestrone
If soup is your default for using up a bunch of leeks, you've got to put this seasonal spin on minestrone, loaded with peas, white beans, and fennel on your list.
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2 / 13
Classic, Creamy Potato Leek Soup
Creamy potato leek soup is a classic, and the best thing about this version is that comes together with just a handful of pantry staples.
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3 / 13
Asparagus, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Frittata
Frittatas are wonderful home for leeks, and partnering them with asparagus is a classic combination.
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4 / 13
Braised Lentils and Leeks
Let this serve as a reminder that leeks can be much more than a supporting plater. Here they're the star of the show, and by braising them, you get the true taste of a leek, which is far more mellow than one might expect.
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5 / 13
Ottolenghi's Braised Eggs with Leek and Za'atar
If you loved poached or gently baked eggs, this skillet, layered with leeks, spinach, and feta will be right up your alley.
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6 / 13
Jacques Pépin’s Rustic Leek and Potato Soup
This humble, comforting soup starts by cutting the potatoes into small pieces and stewing them in butter before simmering.
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7 / 13
Crispy Ginger Rice with Leeks, Shiitakes, and a Fried Egg
Get a head start by cooking the rice at least a day in advance. You'll get a better pan of fried rice for it.
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8 / 13
Sweet Corn Risotto
Follow the lead of this summery risotto by using a leek in place of onion or shallot for any risotto recipe you're cooking up.
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9 / 13
Creamy Spring Vegetable Gratin with Grana Padano
You won't find a creamy bath of dairy and cheese here, this simple spring gratin, layered with fennel, leeks, and potatoes, is all about the vegetables.
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10 / 13
Pasta with Leeks, Fennel, Tomatoes, and Guanciale
This simple Roman-inspired pasta dish starts with pantry ingredients and can easily be made vegetarian, if preferred.
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11 / 13
Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup
This potato leek soup is heavy on the leeks, with just enough potato to give the soup its signature creamy texture.
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12 / 13
Make-Ahead Bacon & Leek Casserole
This brunch casserole is filled with leeks, as an ode to the spring season, and is packed full of crowd-pleasing bacon and cheese.
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13 / 13
30-Minute Leek Confit
Still not sure what to do with those leeks? Make them into a simple confit. They’re cooked very gently for 30 minutes with just salt, pepper, olive oil, and thyme until they transform into a silkier, more concentrated version of themselves. Use them to upgrade everything from pasta and rice to eggs, polenta, chicken, and fish.
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